A Raleigh advisory board is holding a public hearing regarding a ban on pets in certain areas of the city's parks.
The city is looking at whether pets should be allowed on athletic fields and playgrounds after hearing from citizens about the matter. The city said it has received complaints from the public about dogs running without a leash on park grounds and pet owners not cleaning up after their dogs.
"In a park with children in it, I find a problem with dog owners -- not all of them, but some don't follow the rules and pick up behind their dogs," said Edward Viecelli.
"I'm not afraid but sometimes I'm afraid for (my children's) safety if the dog looks like it may be potentially violent and the owner can't really contain the dog. I run into that a lot. So that's my concern with my kids," said Mark Davis.
Meanwhile, others say the ban goes too far and the city should enforce laws that are already in place.
"I think it is up to the owners to keep their dogs on a leash and clean up after their dogs," said Fran Norris.
"I think the behavior of the dog in the park depends on how well the dog is trained and that's the sole responsibility of the owner, not the dog itself. So I don't think it is fair to ban dogs from parks. Dogs can be very good companions for children especially if they've been trained properly," said Jimmy Yarbarough.
Under city codes, pet owners are supposed to dispose of their pet's waste. Also, pets are not supposed to run around parks without being on a leash, except in one of the city's three dog parks.
"We spend 20 minutes driving to either one. I wish there was a park 5 minutes from our house. Definitely need more dog parks," said dog owner, Matt Norris.
The board is seeking public input from residents on the issue at its meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Room 303 of the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex at 222 W. Hargett Street.
After gathering public input, the board will make a recommendation to City Council.